Inside: What to put in your baby’s keepsake box and what to do with it after
“They were so tiny!” I exhaled as I held our twins’ coming home outfits in my hands, showing them to my husband. I was about to have our fifth child and decided to look at the contents of our kids’ memory boxes.
My husband smiled as the memories rushed in to overtake our thoughts. I held up a newborn size diaper, and stared at it, not believing that this very diaper size seemed too big for my newborn babies. They were now two rambunctious 5-year-old boys, and life was never dull with them around.
Having a baby is a monumental life event. As moms, we are excited to see our kids grow up and at the same time, we want them to stay little just a little longer. The reality is, kids grow up fast.
If you’re expecting for the first time or you’re a new mom, you may not realize it yet, but all it takes is a blink and you find yourself on your front porch wiping tears off your cheeks as you wave goodbye to your kindergartner who just started school.
So what can you do to preserve precious memories? You can take photos of special moments, get in those photos with your kids, record videos, and keep a diary of your baby’s first year. But another way to keep the memories of your precious newborn fresh is to keep a baby memory box.
What is a baby memory box?
A baby keepsake or memory box is a small box where you keep your baby’s memorabilia. It’s a great way to preserve the memories of your baby’s early years.
What to put in a baby memory box
Here are a few baby keepsake ideas. Although you can add more to this list, try not to go overboard. As tempting as it may be to keep every cute outfit with a picture attached to it, you don’t want to end up with a chest of things you’re holding on to.
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- Ultrasound picture
- Baby’s first pair of footprints and handprints
- Baby’s hospital wristband
- Mom’s hospital bracelet
- Birth stats card from the hospital crib
- Newborn (or preemie) diaper, whichever size he wore when he was born
- Coming home outfit
- Your baby’s newborn photo, bonus points if he’s wearing his coming home outfit in it
- Baby socks and/or first shoes
- Baby’s first bonnet
- A newspaper printed on baby’s birth date
- A coin minted in baby’s birth year
- The first lock of hair from his first haircut
- His first pacifier
- A photo of you pregnant with him
- A letter to your newborn baby
- Baby memory book or a baby journal with milestones and first words
- Baby’s lovie or favorite toy, if it fits in your special keepsake box
You can add other things to your baby’s memory box, like your baby’s first tooth, his first blanket, his first Christmas ornament, a cast of his tiny hand and footprint, and other sentimental items, but remember not to go overboard. You’re packing a box, not a suitcase. A few story-filled things will be enough to keep the sentiment and memories alive.
What box to use to store baby’s keepsakes
It doesn’t matter if you choose a wooden box or a metal box, but keep in mind that some materials (like glass) aren’t as sturdy as others and may not withstand the test of time. When deciding on what box to use, remember to check the sizes before purchasing your box to make sure it will fit your baby’s memorabilia.
For the time being, I put all my babies’ memorabilia in generic small boxes with lids but plan on getting personalized keepsake boxes for each of our kiddos.
To get you started with a few ideas, here are a few baby keepsake boxes. Some of these boxes can be personalized with your baby’s name, birth weight, and date of birth.
When to give the box to your child
Let’s face it, even though your teenage son might be intrigued by the contents of his baby box, it’s probably not the right age to hand it over to him. Should you give it to him at 18? At 21? On his wedding day?
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide when to give your child’s baby memory box to him, but in my opinion, there is a better time that will be worth waiting for.
Your child’s baby box will be best received at a more sentimental time, which is when he is about to have a child of his own. Imagine your son and his wife going through his baby memorabilia as they wait for a baby of their own to arrive.
How long do you add things to your baby’s memory box?
Although you can stop collecting your child’s memorable items any time you want, I suggest keeping the baby keepsake box contents to baby things. You can add little things to the box up to your baby’s first birthday.
You can always have another box with your child’s select drawings, awards, and his first letter to mom in another space.
Pick what you think are the best things from this list and put together your own baby’s keepsake box. It’s a perfect way to keep the memories alive.
A baby memory box makes a great baby shower gift or new baby gift for your mom friends, too.
When your child grows and begins to test your patience, give yourself a five-minute break, get his baby keepsake box out, and let the memories rush back and overtake you. Breathe in his newborn outfit, and stroke your fingers over his newborn picture.
When you put the box away and come back out, you will be a calmer, more present mom that your child so desperately needs.